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Old 03-26-2013, 06:13 AM   #1
Zanne
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Default Float lever sticking & power to jet pump problem

I have a rather old well system although I had to replace my compressor and the pump that brings water up into the cistern/holding tank as well as replace my actual water pump twice.

The lever on top of my holding tank keeps sticking so that even when the float is all the way up, it does not trigger the compressor with the pulley wheels to shut off. When the tank is full it continues to run so I have to go outside (sometimes in the middle of the night with a flashlight), go through several gates, and then reach in and tap the metal lever (attached to the electric lines) up and it shuts off. But before I realized this was a problem, I didn't go and do that. First the edge of one of the pulley wheels sheered off and I had it replaced, but then the motor died and I had to get a new one. Then, because the compressor was broken and the pump was trying to pump an empty tank, the motor burned out on the jet pump.

I was without water for 3 weeks because my old pump guy seems to have developed Alzheimers and forgot to come out, despite the fact that I called him repeatedly. I finally found a new guy but by the time he came out it was a weekend and I ended up getting a crappy Countryline brand pump. Stupid thing cracked a rod in a piston within 2 months and I had to replace it with another brand. I'll have to try to remember which one-- it was the pump I had before that lasted over 15 years. I think it is something like Lenovo...

I told the new pump guy about the lever sticking and he suggested putting vaseline on the metal rod attached to the float to see if it was just sticking. That didn't work and it seems like the problem is the part attached to the wires-- which I do not want to touch.

Now another problem has arisen where my jet pump just stops working and I accidentally discovered that when I pulled up on the electric lines going to it, it flashed lights and started running again. It would stop and I would pull up and it would kick on again. I don't know if the wires or loose or if it is depressing a button or what the deal is. I don't know if I should just tape the wire so that it keeps exerting the same amount of pressure or if I should call the pump guy to check the wires.

When I replace the batteries in my digital camera I can take pictures if necessary.

I've also noticed the floor in the pump house is often damp, but I don't know if it is because of humidity or because my cow tore a hole in the corner of the structure and rain gets in. I live in a very humid climate. I didn't see any signs of leaks anywhere.

Could the moisture be affecting the power to the jet pump? I really don't know much about pumps so these are probably dumbo questions.



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Old 03-26-2013, 08:21 PM   #2
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A picture might help us understand more what you have.



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Old 03-27-2013, 03:04 PM   #3
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A picture might help us understand more what you have.
Ok. I'll have to see if I can find the batteries for the camera and go out there in a bit. I'm hoping it will warm up a bit before I go outside.

I took the pictures but now it is taking awhile to upload them. Can I just use IMG tags to post them here?
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:44 PM   #4
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Photos:
Here is the jet pump. I don't know why I thought it was an L name. That must have been something else. It is a Gould pump.


This is the part where the wires go in. I pull up on the wires when the pump isn't working and a green light flickers underneath and it turns back on.


Here is the lever for the float valve on the cistern



The repair guy took the little gray box off when working on stuff and it never got put back on. I think it had to be on before the wires were hooked in or something because I couldn't get it to go back. The yellow wire goes to the compressor pump.


Oh, and here is the moisture on the ground. It seems to be concentrated toward the corner where my cow made a hole.


Just for fun, here is a shot of the pump house taken from standing outside the doors:


We don't have the water softener installed yet because I don't know how to fit it in there and would have to get someone to hook it up. The space is very cramped.

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Old 03-27-2013, 05:22 PM   #5
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What your calling a compressor I believe is a Piston Pump. I didn't think it was possible to buy one anymore. They are kind of an antique these days.

You could do a lot better with an electric float and a solenoid valve in the cistern. It would be much more dependable than that old float switch.

Apparently the wires are loose in the pressure switch on your Goulds pump. I suggest getting that fixed before something gets zorched.

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Old 03-27-2013, 05:58 PM   #6
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What your calling a compressor I believe is a Piston Pump. I didn't think it was possible to buy one anymore. They are kind of an antique these days.

You could do a lot better with an electric float and a solenoid valve in the cistern. It would be much more dependable than that old float switch.

Apparently the wires are loose in the pressure switch on your Goulds pump. I suggest getting that fixed before something gets zorched.
Ahh! I didn't know what it was. The pump guy just kept referring to it as a compressor and motor or something. I was rather frazzled after not having running water for 3 weeks. I didn't even know there was another option for pumping the water in to the well.

If you think that thing is old, you should have seen the dinosaur of an airconditioner I had replaced two years ago. The company that made it went out of business in 1973. The air con guy said his aunt and uncle used to own my house and that he thought they had that thing put in during the 40s or 50s. I wish I'd taken a picture of it before it was removed.

I've never even heard of a solenoid valve before. How much do they cost and what brands are out there that are good?

Yeah, I figured something was loose. I'm no electrician so I didn't want to touch it too much. I should give my pump guy a call. His father has been undergoing chemo for bone cancer so I know things are tough right now. Would the pump guy be the one to install the solenoid valve?
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:14 PM   #7
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I would think the pump guy could install it. It's mechanical and electrical. The float is the same kind used on a sump pump. Upside down, the pump is off, rightside up, it's on. The solenoid valve is an electrical valve that either lets water flow or not depending on the angle of the float. It all runs on 24 volts. I have them on my site. You basically plug a 24 volt Wall Wart (transformer) into the wall plug, hook up two wires and run one of the to the solenoid valve and the other one goes in and out of the float and into the other wire on the solenoid valve. The solenoid valve is the same valve used in a sprinkler system.
Here's a link to the diagram:
http://www.pumpsandtanks.com/Helpful-Info/24_Volt_Float_System.htm
Substitute the contactor that is on the left side for a solenoid valve.
The three parts are located here:
http://shop.pumpsandtanks.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=87
They are three of the bottom last four items.

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Old 03-27-2013, 07:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by speedbump View Post
I would think the pump guy could install it. It's mechanical and electrical. The float is the same kind used on a sump pump. Upside down, the pump is off, rightside up, it's on. The solenoid valve is an electrical valve that either lets water flow or not depending on the angle of the float. It all runs on 24 volts. I have them on my site. You basically plug a 24 volt Wall Wart (transformer) into the wall plug, hook up two wires and run one of the to the solenoid valve and the other one goes in and out of the float and into the other wire on the solenoid valve. The solenoid valve is the same valve used in a sprinkler system.
Here's a link to the diagram:
http://www.pumpsandtanks.com/Helpful-Info/24_Volt_Float_System.htm
Substitute the contactor that is on the left side for a solenoid valve.
The three parts are located here:
http://shop.pumpsandtanks.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=87
They are three of the bottom last four items.
Excellent! Thank you very very much! I'll have to talk to my pump guy about having that put in. One thing at a time though. If the board of health guy is available on Monday, I'm getting the new tank and field lines then.

Out of curiosity, what do they use to pump the water into the cistern instead of the piston pump now? (I'm not going to replace it just yet since we just got it last year).
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:48 PM   #9
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A Jet Pump is the best option. Since your only filling a tank, pressure isn't an issue nor is volume. So a 1/2hp would be plenty.

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Old 03-28-2013, 02:05 PM   #10
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A Jet Pump is the best option. Since your only filling a tank, pressure isn't an issue nor is volume. So a 1/2hp would be plenty.
Again, thank you very much! I'll have to ask my mother if she remembers if it is a shallow tank or deep. I seem to recall that it may have been deep. I like the look of the vertical pump just for the fact that it seems like it would be easier to walk around than the current contraption. In order to get to my pump, I have to move that yellow wire on the piston pump out of my way and step around it. I am seriously thinking of wrapping electrical tape around where the wires go into that because there is a bit of bare wire on that and I don't like worrying that I'll get zapped. I don't know if I would, but better safe than sorry. I probably need a longer piece of wire than I currently have because right now it is a pain to maneuver into there.



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